Business Intelligence Report

Methodology

Lakeshore Advantage and partnering organizations interviewed over 120 lakeshore-area executives in Allegan, Muskegon and Ottawa counties to understand their companies’ growth opportunities and obstacles. We interviewed before and after the COVID-19 crisis to gain real comparisons on how the global pandemic shifted mindsets, growth plans and the bottom line for companies in our region.

Our diverse manufacturing base helped to create some economic stability throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Total Company Sales

Companies reporting increasing or stable sales are in these industries:

Advanced Manufacturing
Durable Goods Manufacturing
Food Processing

International Sales as % of Total Company Sales

Industries reporting increasing or stable international sales include:

Aerospace
Automotive
Durable Goods Manufacturing

Our diverse manufacturing base helped to create some economic stability throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Total Company Sales

Companies reporting increasing or stable sales are in these industries:

Food Processing
Durable Goods Manufacturing
Advanced Manufacturing

International Sales as % of Total Company Sales

Industries reporting increasing or stable international sales include:

Aerospace
Automotive
Durable Goods Manufacturing

New Products, Pivots, Partnerships and Projects

New Products Anticipated

While down slightly from pre-COVID numbers, 3 out of 4 respondents anticipate new products in the next 2 years.

Industries anticipating new products include:

Advanced Manufacturing
Aerospace
Automotive
Durable Goods Manufacturing
Food Processing

Changes that companies will be making in the next 6 months.

Plans to expand in the next 3 years

While down from pre-COVID numbers, over half of the region’s primary employers plan to expand in the next three years.

Big Partnerships

GHSP developed grēnlite™, a UV-C treatment light in partnership with UV Angel for air sanitization. Soundoff Signal will deploy this technology to emergency response vehicles.

Solismatica harnessed the capabilities of Power BI to network hundreds of 3-D printers and a caring network of other businesses including Hybrid Machining, volunteers and donors to provide thousands of PPE items nationwide.

Big Projects

City of Zeeland
  • $9.4m investment
  • 36k sq ft three-story chemistry lab and prototyping
City of Holland
  • $60+m investment
  • 150k sq ft cold storage, manufacturing capacity
  • 40k sq ft dry goods warehouse
  • 2 expansion projects this year, 4th expansion in the past 3 years
City of Holland and Holland Charter Township
  • $27m investment
  • 357k sq ft distribution center
  • 66k sq ft warehousing facility
  • 2 expansion projects this year, 3rd expansion in the last 2 years
Leighton Township
  • $5.4m investment
  • 145k sq ft food grade storage
Whitehall, Muskegon County
  • $9.6m investment
  • Consolidated North American operations from Texas
Norton Shores, Muskegon County
  • $3.8m investment
  • 30k sq ft corporate facility

Year-over-Year Successful Projects

Lakeshore Advantage Service Area (Allegan and Ottawa Counties)

Even through the global pandemic, dirt was moving and companies expanded in West Michigan. In 2020, we had fewer expansion projects, but higher company investment per project which resulted in higher overall private investment than we experienced last year.

2019 Expansion Stats:

Per-Project Averages

$6m average in private investment

48 average jobs created/retained

55k square feet

2020 Expansion Stats:

Per-Project Averages

$11m average in private investment

47 average jobs created/retained

77k square feet

Year-over-Year Expansions by Industry

2019 Projects

Food Processing

Hudsonville Ice Cream, Big Dutchman,
Mead Johnson, Pangea Reptile

Automotive Manufacturing

Daimay, GHSP, SoundOff Signal

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Perrigo

Advanced Manufacturing & Automation

Koops, MFP Automation, ICE Robotics

Plastic & Rubber Product Manufacturing

Plascore, Royal Technologies

Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing

DeWys Manufacturing

Machinery Manufacturing

Tric Tool, Competition Engineering

IT & Technical Services

BizStream

Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing

Kaidi

Packaging Manufacturing

ITB Packaging

Durable Goods Manufacturing

Composite Builders, Artisan Medical Displays

2020 Projects

Food Processing

Hudsonville Ice Cream, cold storage,
Hudsonville Ice Cream, dry goods
warehouse, Pangea Reptile, Request Foods

Automotive Manufacturing

Gentex, GHSP

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Perrigo, distribution center, City of Holland,
Perrigo, distribution center, Holland Charter Township

Advanced Manufacturing & Automation

Koops

Plastic & Rubber Product Manufacturing

KAM Plastics

Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing

Preferred Welding

Machinery Manufacturing

FEMA Corp

Warehousing & Storage

Classic Transportation

Beverage, Brewery and Distillery

Tantrick Brewing

Expansion Trends

Lakeshore Advantage Service Area (Allegan and Ottawa Counties)

Current Expansion Pipeline Outlook

24% of Lakeshore Advantage’s expansion project pipeline is automation companies or automation solution providers

Site Search Requests

Average requested building size was 94k–138k square feet

96% of projects were looking for
existing buildings

Vacancy Rate

Colliers Industrial Report, West Michigan

Q3 2020 industrial vacancy rate = 1.04%
Q3 2019 industrial vacancy rate = 1.21%

Current Expansion Pipeline Outlook

24% of Lakeshore Advantage’s expansion project pipeline is automation companies or automation solution providers

Site Search Requests

Average requested building size was 94k–138k square feet

96% of projects were looking for
existing buildings

Vacancy Rate

Colliers Industrial Report, West Michigan

Q3 2020 industrial vacancy rate = 1.04%
Q3 2019 industrial vacancy rate = 1.21%

Trends

COVID-19 has illuminated the need for Industry 4.0 practices within our manufacturing sector to tackle issues like remote machine operation, operating efficiency, predictive maintenance, line down time and quality control. Industry 4.0 education and implementation will be a focus of Lakeshore Advantage in 2021.

With the technology implemented and our major manufacturers shifting, the talent needs are changing as well. Availability and accessibility of higher education classes and certification to support Industry 4.0 growth will be equally important in 2021 and beyond. An initial exploratory group has been formed to explore a community college millage – another future priority for the Lakeshore Advantage team.

As our economy and technology change, the Lakeshore Advantage team continues to ensure our community has a competitive advantage.

Download the 2020 Business Intelligence Report

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